CAJUN ACCORDION DISCUSSION GROUP
If you don't want to pay the $1500-$1700 that would be required for a Louisiana-made, or don't want to go to the lower end with a $300 Chinese-made (i.e. Ariette, etc.) a decent compromise is a Gabbanelli Cajun King. They are somewhat in between in terms of pricing and quality. You could get something with your $900. It's worth checking it out. Here's an example on EBay above.
These things sound anemic. He's fairly close to the price of a decent box. If he has buyers remorse, he'll have a hell of a lot easier time unloading a La. handmade than one of these abominations, and for a lot better price.
I'd seen at one point that the price on these had dropped to $700. $500 is probably a good price for them.
Gabb Cajuns are way over-priced and over-rated.. wait for something authentic.. these aren't even close in my opinion..but think it is worth the warning..
If a regular player wants an extra cheapo box in a weird key that is rarely played..the Gabb may a viable alternative..
Not to offend anyone..but you will have very little resale value on these when you upgrade.
Granted, I don't own a GabbaKingy, but why are so many of us hung up on resale value?
The first accordion I learned on was a Hohner 4-stop. I still own it and wouldn't dream of parting with it. I *still* play it and have begun to teach my step-daughter how to play (on it). I also love to take that ol' Hohner on camping trips or to parties.
The GabKing has always been an arguing point here in this forum; yeah they are overpriced but so are the handmades. I should know, I paid through the nose for my 4 Falcons and a Martin. I'll be the first to step up and tell the world they are overpriced, but I couldn't dream of not having them. Why? Because I actually took my talent in playing to a professional level. Yes, I'm sold on their quality and sound -- but lets be honest, the 2007 prices on all handmades (from the most popular builders) are overpriced. This will no doubt encourage someone to write how there are a scad of lesser-known builders that offer prices that are reasonable -- this happens everytime the GabKing question is popped.
The GabKing is quite popular amongst the zydeco bands. Chris Ardoin is sporting one on his shoulder on his latest CD cover. Yeah, maybe it's in some odd-ball key or hot-rodded in some weird way -- who knows? But I bet he can make that cheapace box sound like a million bucks.
I'm not defending the GabKing, but as an owner of an ol' Hohner that still makes me happy and shares the shelves next to my Falcons, I very proud of that "first" box. I am glad it wasn't a handmade because I didn't know then that I would actually take my playing to the level it is today. If it were a handmade I probably would've been too careful with it back when I was just trying to 'cop a feel'.
If you ask me, every serious player needs to have a "knock-around accordion" in their collection. Even now I'd probably buy a GabKing just to have one in some creepy color and key. Only reason I've not done that this year is because I'm saving up for a Dino to replace my cheapace Castiglione -- which I'll never part with cuz I love it!
The resale value thing is for folks who are unsure if they will stay committed, and don't want to end up with a wife beating them with their last toy, or a very nicely grained boat anchor.
If things don't work out for you with a La. box, you can get most or all of your money back easily.
I know Gabbies are not well loved here, nut I picked up a Bb back when the price dropped. I believe the story was, the father died and the Cajun King stock's price was lowered to make way for the new line. Don't know what a brand new Gabbie sounds like, but the one I got works out fine. No, it doesn't compete with my La box, but it doesb't have to. Don't play in Bb that much, and it does give me a different sound. Don't know if it's fair to compare the older Cajun Kings with the newer ones.
The resell thing is alien to me, cause I don't get rid of anything. Embarassed to say how many guitars, fiddles, banjos, stomp boxes, amps... geez, it gores on and on. Dwight, I see your point, but I'm sure there's pack rats like me where that's no a concern.
And yes, accordions are overpriced. But it isn't the builder's fault. Bellows and reed prices skyrocketed. Parts alone are an easy grand. Take into account the time involved, and you'll understand why there's so few full time buiders. Great hourly wage... if it was the depression.
Yah, the Gabbanelli is a girlie box - it is weak and undeveloped.
-Ahhhnold, from Cahleephonia
I don't agree with the comment suggesting that La-made boxes are overpriced. With the rising Euro against the green-back (Reeds, Bellows & mechanics), and considering the number of hours (approx 60) the builders put into them, it's not overpriced by any means. When you compare them to Quebec-made boxes of similar quality that range in the $2,300 +, it's all good.
Yeah ya right there Maz... But check this:
Cajuns found a way to build their own 4-stops after the availability of the German boxes were nil during WWII. Was Sydney Brown ordering bellows and reeds from Italy back then?
As creative and crafty as "rural Cajuns" are in practically every aspect of their lives (they are all veritable McGyvers); why in the world hasn't some son of the Louisiana soil been able to craft bellows and reeds -- and chrome buttons for that matter?! Is the mafia involved? I just can't figure it.
Rick, while I can see you're point on someone from LA producing bellows and reeds here, the first time those bellows come apart when someone is pulling on it, will be most likely the last time that maker will sell an accordion or the bellows for that matter.
As someone who is about to "hit the market" with an all new name brand accordion, I can tell you that unless you go through all of the trials and tribulations of building these things you won't have a true appreciation of their worth. I say that meaning for me, they are a labor of love and when you love something, you put everything you can into, at least I do. I look at this as if I would be building each and everyone for myself and no one else. For me, if I know what I am getting had the same care, attention to detail and strive for perfection that I would give, it's worth the money. I know that I am not going to sell a box to anyone until I am 110% satisfied with it and believe me, I am my own world's worst critic !!
All IMHO !!
i have a real good saltarelle cayun box made of maple wood in c with binci hand made reedsi sell for 750 euro